Interviews
Interview - Phillip Adams, journalist, author, intellectual and author


Interview: Phillip Adams, journalist, author, intellectual and farmer - 3rd April 2003

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Late Night Live (ABC)

Biography (ABC)

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Radio Podcasting Social Community Australia

 

 

Media Man continues to interview some of Australia's and indeed the world's most interesting people. Phillip Adams may be one of the most unique, misunderstood and controversial people in the history of the Australian media and arts sector.

Phillip Adams was born in Maryborough, Victoria. He has had a broad career in journalism, television, the Australian film industry and as a raconteur; he maintains a high profile in the area of Australian arts.

 

Phillip Adams is a prolific and sometimes controversial broadcaster, writer and film-maker. As presenter of Late Night Live, he has interviewed thousands of the world's most influential politicians, historians, archaeologists, novelists, theologians, economists, philosophers and sundry conversationalists. 'It's a privilege to present Late Night Live,' he says. 'No radio program, anywhere on earth, casts a wider net.' Phillip's laid-back approach has become a trade-mark for Late Night Live, as has his humour, curiosity, his ability to flesh out rare insights from his guests, and his amazing store of anecdotal knowledge.

Largely self-educated (he left school in his mid-teens) he's the author of over 20 books, including The Unspeakable Adams, Adams Versus God, Talkback, Retreat From Tolerance and A Billion Voices. His writing has appeared in many of Australia's most influential publications and he has been a contributor to The Times and The Financial Times in London, and to the New York Times.

His films include The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, The Getting of Wisdom, Don's Party, Lonely Hearts and We of the Never Never. Adams' Australia was part of BBC TV's contribution to Australia's bicentennial celebrations. Other TV programs include two series of The Big Questions with Professor Paul Davies, and Death and Destiny, filmed in Egypt with Paul Cox.

A foundation member of the Australia Council and chairman of the Film, Radio and Television Board, Phillip has chaired the Australian Film Institute, the Australian Film Commission, Film Australia and the National Australia Day Council. He is a former president of the Victorian Council for the Arts and was foundation chairman of the Commission for the Future. He currently chairs the Advisory Board of the Centre for the Mind at Sydney University and the Australian National University. His many board memberships include the Festivals of Ideas in Adelaide and Brisbane and the Families in Distress Foundation.

Other board memberships have included the Museum of Australia, Greenpeace Australia, CARE Australia, the Australian Children's Television Foundation, Film Victoria and the Anti-Football League. He was co-founder of the Australian Skeptics.

As well as two Orders of Australia, Phillip was Australian Humanist of the Year (1987), Republican of the Year 2005, and received the Longford Award, the film industry's highest accolade, in 1981, the same year that he was appointed Senior Anzac Fellow. He is a recipient of the Henry Lawson Arts Award (1987) and in 1998, the National Trust elected him one of Australia's 100 Living National Treasures. He has four honorary doctorates: from Sydney, Griffith, Edith Cowan and the University of South Australia.

He has written a number of books. His latest is Bedtime Stories; Tales From My 21 Years at RN’s Late Night Live, published by Harper Collins.

Phillip lives on a cattle property specialising in the production of chemical-free beef. He is a collector of rare antiquities, including Egyptian, Roman and Greek sculptures and artefacts (Credit: ABC)